Furnaces, by and large, are fairly reliable appliances--meaning that many people never stop to consider performing basic maintenance tasks. Unfortunately, this often leads to the need for ill-timed and expensive repairs. If you would like to improve your knowledge of basic HVAC maintenance, read on. This article will provide three helpful tips to prep for the winter months.
Ensure your floor vents are clean and unobstructed.
Just because your furnace starts up when you turn it on, don't assume that all is well and good. A properly running furnace can easily be undermined by dirty or obstructed floor vents. For one thing, an excess of dust and debris will greatly compromise the quality of the heated air entering your rooms. This can lead to an uptick in allergies, sneezing, and even asthma.
Should your vents have become too greatly clogged, the air from your furnace may not be entering your rooms as efficiently as it should. Such obstructions are often caused by buildups of pet hair, debris, and small objects such as children's toys, rubber bands, and waste paper. Always begin each home heating season by removing the register plates covering your vents and giving them a good cleaning with your vacuum cleaner.
Install new air filters on a regular basis.
Dirty vents aren't the only thing that can decrease the quality of the air being produced by your furnace. An old, dust-choked air filter will have a negative impact here as well. That's because a fully saturated filter is no longer able to keep dust and other airborne debris from passing up through your vents into your home. Not only that, but an old filter will reduce the air flow coming out of your furnace, thus requiring a greater amount of fuel to be consumed in order to heat your home.
Don't overlook the importance of changing your furnace's air filter on a regular basis. During the wintertime, you should visually inspect your filter every month. Chances are you'll find it blackened with dust and other build up. Always keep a stockpile of fresh filters on hand, so that you can install a new one without delay.
Hire a professional to inspect your blower belt.
The heat of a furnace is generated inside of the combustion chamber. Yet once this heat has been produced, it then needs to be distributed throughout your home's system of ducts. This task is accomplished by the blower. The blower is powered by a special motor, whose motion is transferred to the blower by the blower belt.
As you can imagine, a broken blower belt means that the blower will not be able to push heated air up into your home. This catastrophe often strikes without warning, when a worn or damaged belt finally gives way. Luckily, you can avoid the cost--and the stress--of emergency furnace repairs by having an HVAC professional inspect your blower belt for signs of wear before the start of each heating season.